Lemon Blueberry Bread

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This cake reminds me of lemon and blueberry muffins from when I was a kid. Soft, gooey blueberries in moist and warm cake that leaves a lemony aftertaste… Drool.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup of room temperature butter (or heat briefly in the microwave for about 30 sec)
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp of lemon zest (I used about 2 lemons)
    • It’s easiest to zest the lemons and then juice them. Hanging onto a whole lemon while grating its rind is easier than a slippery peel.
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice (about 1 lemon), remove the seeds
  • 1.5 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 package of fresh blueberries, washed and tossed in 2 tbsp of flour
    • Tossing the blueberries in flour keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the pan
  • 1/2 cup of milk

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Butter or grease the bread pan. I used a 10.5″ x 4.5″ x 3″ pan.
  3. Beat the eggs, butter, sugar, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Try not to overbeat the eggs.
  4. Separately mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt.
  5. Alternately combine the dry mix and milk in the butter-egg mixture. Stir to combine.
  6. Fold the lemon zest and blueberries into the batter.
  7. Pour into the bread pan.
  8. Bake for 60 minutes. Check for done-ness by inserting a toothpick or wooden kabob skewer or (if you grew up in an Asian house) wooden chopstick in the middle of the bread. It should come out clean, without any clumps.
  9. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan.
  10. Slide a knife around the edges of the pan (careful not to scratch the bottom of the pan) to loosen the bread.
  11. Invert the pan to remove the bread.
  12. Set on a wire rack to cool for another 10-20 minutes. Enjoy!
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Chocolate Raspberry Cake

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I used this recipe to start, and added a couple of my own ideas to it.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk

Frosting

  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 packages of raspberries (I will use 4-5 packages next time so that the top will be covered with raspberries.)

Directions

Cake

  1. Grease a 10.5″ x 4.5″ x 3″ pan.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  3. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together.
  4. Separately, mix the vanilla and milk together.
  5. In a third container, beat the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes with an electric mixer.
  6. Add the egg, mix, then add the egg yolk.
  7. Alternately mix the flour and liquids in parts until you get a smooth batter.
  8. Pour and spread the batter in the cake pan. Bake for 45 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean.
  9. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  10. Invert to remove the cake. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes more.
  11. Cut the cake lengthwise in half.

Frosting

  1. Whisk the powdered sugar and cocoa powder together.
  2. Separately beat the butter with an electric mixer until smooth.
  3. Slowly (and in parts!) add the sugar/cocoa powder to the butter and mix well. Alternate adding the dry mix with the liquid vanilla/milk mix. Beat until you get a smooth frosting.

Putting the Cake Together

  1. Spread about 1 cup of the frosting between the layers of the cake.
  2. Cover the rest of the cake with the frosting.
  3. Outline the bottom of the cake with raspberries, and fill in the cake from the bottom to the top.
  4. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Fruit & Nut Bar Recipe

Over the last few months, I’ve discovered (and become addicted to) Kind bars. My favorite flavor is the Almond & Apricot bar. Eating it is a magical experience. This is a homemade recipe I’ve hobbled together, which doesn’t taste anything like the Kind bar, but is still darn-tootin’ delicious. I might try switching out the dried fruits with other varieties later on, but this seems like a good place to start.

This recipe will make about 10-12 bars.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of honey
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 cup of juice (I have tried mango lemonade from Trader Joe’s and also apple juice. Both are tasty.)
  • 1/4 or 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon (depends on how much cinnamon you like)
  • 1 cup of almonds (roughly chopped)
  • 1 cup of pecans (roughly chopped)
  • 1 cup of coconut flakes
  • 1 cup of your favorite puffed cereal (I like chocolate rice puffs)
  • 1/3 cup of dried blueberries
  • 1 cup of craisins
  • 1/3 cup of chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Heat the syrup, honey, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and juice together in a pan on the stove. Stir frequently and heat evenly until the mixture is about 260 F.
  2. In a long glass pan (I used a 9 x 13 in casserole dish), combine the remaining dry ingredients.
  3. Once the stove-top mixture is hot enough, pour it over the dry ingredients in your glass pan. Mix well.
  4. Try to press the sticky, nutty mix flat, perhaps with a spatula.
  5. Let it sit for about 20 minutes, and then cut them into bars.
  6. Wrap the bars in something like wax paper to store in the refrigerator. This batch never makes it past a week on my watch… I just eat them too fast.

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Making homemade cookies is the best! I love cinnamon, so I added some to my usual chocolate chip recipe. This recipe makes about 20 cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups of semisweet (or bittersweet) chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup of melted unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon

Equipment:

  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • cup measures
  • electric beater
  • spatula
  • cookie sheet
  • cooling rack for the cookies

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Hand stir the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar in a bowl. Then let sit for 5 minutes, until the sugar is absorbed by the butter. This produces flatter cookies that have a shiny top and are crispy at the edges.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and cinnamon to the bowl. Beat.
    • Don’t worry if you overbeat the eggs. Your cookies will still turn out fine! You only worry about overbeating them when you’re making something like meringue or angel food cake.
  4. Separately mix the flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl.
  5. Add the flour mix at 1/2 a cup at a time, beating as you go.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips
  7. Scoop the cookie dough onto the cookie sheet 1 tbsp at a time.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes.
  9. Allow the cookies to cool for ~5 minutes before you transfer them to the cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Cardamom Pudding (with Mango)

Found a great recipe for some yummy, atypical pudding. Who doesn’t like pudding? And cardamom? Mango goes nicely with it, but I think any type of fruit will suffice.

Note: Prepare through Step 7 up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill.

Ingredients

  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 4 1/4 cups of whole milk
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • mango (or other fruit; I tried blackberries since they’re in season)
  • mint leaves for garnish

Directions

  1. Gently crack cardamom pods with a mortar and pestle.
  2. On a stove top, combine with 4 cups of milk (notice that is not all of your milk), and stir occasionally until mixture boils.
  3. Separately mix half of the sugar (1/4 cup), all of the cornstarch, and all of the ground cardamom. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup milk.
  4. After the mixture on the stove boils, slowly  whisk the sugar/cornstarch/cardamom/milk mixture into the pan.
  5. Bring the contents of the pan back to a boil.
  6. Pour all of the stuff through a mesh strainer. Trash the stuff left in the strainer.
  7. Ladle pudding into small containers (6 – 8 bowls/cups of 3/4 – 1 cup capacity). Let cool for 10 mins, then chill until the pudding is cold and has set (1.5 hrs)
  8. In a food processor or blender, combine the mango or other fruit with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. You want it sort of chunky and coarse, so don’t puree.
  9. Spoon fruit/sugar onto pudding right before serving. Garnish with mint.